When you run an online business, it’s only natural to focus all of your efforts toward online marketing channels. Your strategies may be successful, but if you’re not taking advantage of offline marketing vehicles in conjunction with other marketing methods to funnel traffic to your website, you are missing the mark.
If integrated correctly, the combination of online and offline marketing strategies can generate an upsurge in sales and ROI exponentially.
Offline promotional strategies to grow your customer base and increase revenue isn’t dead yet. People still receive mail the old fashioned way—via mail carrier. This is a viable marketing outlet because as of late, the global postal service hasn’t announced discontinuing services anytime soon.
Direct mail also gives you the advantage of less competition. More companies are converting all their marketing strategies to online avenues, leaving the door open for you to draw in traffic from a place they may have missed.
However, one downside to direct mail is the wait. You don’t have the luxury of knowing who and when someone is opening your mail, like you do with digital marketing. Emails, banner ads, newsletters, landing and capture pages all allow you to view up-to-the-minute analytics telling you where your promotional efforts are most effective.
The fact is, direct mail marketing could produce delayed results. Your postcard or newsletter might wind up buried in a stack of unopened mail on someone’s desk for weeks—months—before they get around to reading it and then taking action. While this is a good thing, you have no concrete numbers to anticipate ROI.
Avoid the Junk Mail Pile
Direct mail will always be a way to expose new customers to your product or service. The one main obstacle standing between you and increased profits is the trash can. It’s no different from emails being flagged and sent directly to the spam folder.
However, you have an advantage with direct mail over digital—someone must physically handle it before tossing it away. Deciding whether to discard paper mail is more complex because of the physical and visual interaction required to do so.
So you’ve got one shot—a few seconds to make an impression, or non-impression as it were, to NOT look or feel like junk mail. If it’s too corporate looking, with glossy paper and fancy logos, your letter is heading straight into the trash bin.
Think about the mail you get at home. How do you determine what to keep or toss? Probably the same as most, you don’t. You just instinctively know because most all direct mail marketing have the same general attributes.
No one knows how or when it happened, but somewhere along the line, a standard set of unspoken rules was established in the marketing world for designing promotional direct mail—and they’re not right. The average consumer can spot junk mail at 50 paces, and wants nothing to do with it.
Your job is to blend in discreetly with the pieces of mail soon to be marked for the read pile. No bells and whistles, no flashy graphics or corporate logos—just a friendly piece of mail that could have been sent by a close friend.
Postcards are non-descript too, and come across as non-threatening. Moreover, there’s no opening involved, just a simple flip over to gain exposure. Most postcards make it to the read pile automatically. People like them, it gives a warm feeling that someone was thinking about them enough to take the time to stop, purchase one, and jot a note one the back.
Friendly direct mail marketing is highly more successful getting people to view it and delivers better conversion rates (people who follow your call-to-action).
Put your domain name on every piece of tactile marketing material—front and center—right up there with all the other valuable information. Many marketers still mistakenly place the URL in smaller font at the bottom of flyers, sales letters, letterheads, even business cards, almost like an afterthought. Your website is what drives your business; it’s not just a footnote.
Consider some famous dot coms who exploit their domain names to emphasize the benefits of visiting their site through print, radio, and television ads—pretty clever, right? Not to mention, they make sure that their websites are useful for customers to fulfill a great need.
Equal Investment, Double Results
If you put equal investment into both website and print, you’re doubling down on the odds—in your favor. Don’t listen to marketers who want to tell you direct mail marketing doesn’t work. Chances are, that marketer didn’t see results because he took the wrong approach.
Direct mail marketing does work, and when you marry it to your online efforts you’re driving traffic from two different niches of the marketing world at the same time. You’re also reaching a new audience, albeit a dwindling one, but there are still people out there who aren’t joined at the hip with technology. Your promotional mail just might inspire someone to get connected, and search you out on the internet.